Friday, October 16, 2015

16 October 2015 A.D. Jewel’s “Apology”—“And will ye say that Christ and the Apostles meant with subtlety to deceive the people when they exhorted them to read the Holy Scriptures


16 October 2015 A.D. Jewel’s “Apology”—“And will ye say that Christ and the Apostles meant with subtlety to deceive the people when they exhorted them to read the Holy Scriptures, that thereby they might flow in all wisdom and knowledge?  No marvel at all though these men [Romanists] despise us and all our doings, which set so little by God Himself and His infallible sayings.” p.107
Jewel, John. “The Apology of the Church of England.” Project Gutenberg. 5 Aug 2006. http://www.gutenberg.org/files/17678/17678-h/17678-h.htm. Accessed 1 Aug 2015.
What then shall I say here, O ye principal posts of religion, O ye arch-governors of Christ’s Church!  Is this that your reverence which ye give to God’s Word?  The Holy Scriptures, which, St. Paul saith, came by the inspiration of God, which God did commend by so many miracles, wherein are the most perfect prints of Christ’s own steps, which all the holy fathers, Apostles, and Angels, which Christ Himself the Son of God, as often as was needful, did allege for testimony and proof; will ye, as though they were unworthy for you to hear, bid them avaunt away?  That is, will ye enjoin God to keep silence, who speaketh to you most clearly by His own mouth in the Scriptures? or that Word, whereby alone, as Paul saith, we are reconciled to God, and which the prophet David saith, is “holy and pure, and shall last for ever;” will ye call that “but a bare and dead letter?” or will ye say that all our labour is lost which is bestowed in that thing which Christ hath commanded us diligently to search, and to have evermore before our eyes?  And will ye say that Christ and the Apostles meant with subtlety to deceive the people when they exhorted them to read the Holy Scriptures, that thereby they might flow in all wisdom and knowledge?  No marvel at all though these men despise us and all our doings, which set so little by God Himself and His infallible sayings.  Yet was it but want of wit in them, to the intend they might hurt us, to do so extreme injury to the Word of God.

16 October 2015 A.D. CAIRO: Anglican Church in North American Declared Partner Province by the Global South


16 October 2015 A.D. CAIRO: Anglican Church in North American Declared Partner Province by the Global South 

Virtue. David. “CAIRO: Anglican Church in North American Declared Partner Province by the Global South.” Virtueonline.org. N.d. http://virtueonline.org/cairo-anglican-church-north-america-declared-partner-province-global-south. Accessed 16 Oct 2015. 

CAIRO: Anglican Church in North America Declared Partner Province by the Global South

October 16, 2015

Anglican Primates of the Global South, a coalition representing the majority of the world's Anglicans, met October 14-16, 2015 in Cairo, Egypt.

During the meeting, the Anglican Church in North America was declared to be an official partner province of the Global South. In addition, Archbishop Foley Beach, who earlier in the week had preached at All Saints Anglican Cathedral in Cairo, was seated as a member of the Global South Primates Council with both voice and vote; participating fully in the meeting.

Archbishop Beach commented on the gathering, "It is a privilege and joy to represent the Anglican Church in North America as the bonds of fellowship between faithful, global Anglicans continue to be strengthened. This was a good and important week in the lives of our provinces, and I am encouraged that some of the seeds of restoration and renewal that were planted years ago are continuing to bear fruit."

At future meetings of the Global South, the Anglican Church in North America is invited to send official representatives, and Archbishop Beach will continue to have voice and vote in the Global South Primates Council.

16 October 2015 A.D. 10th of 39 Articles, “Of Free Will”—W. Turner, M.D.


16 October 2015 A.D. 10th of 39 Articles, “Of Free Will”—W. Turner, M.D.
        Jones, Thomas R. “An Exposition of the Thirty-nine Articles.” NewScriptorium. N.d. http://newscriptorium.com/assets/docs/anglican/39-articles/jones39reformers.htm. Accessed 7 Jun 2015.
An Exposition of the Thirty Nine Articles, By the Reformers: Extracts carefully and fully selected from the Works of Latimer, Ridley, Cranmer, Hooper, Jewel, Philpot, Pilkington, Coverdale, Becon, Bradford, Sandys, Grindal, Whitgift, Etc.
Article X—Of Free-Will.
      The condition of Man after the fall of Adam is such, that he cannot turn and prepare himself by his own natural strength and good works, to faith, and calling upon God: wherefore we have no power to do good works pleasant and acceptable to God, without the grace of God by Christ preventing us, that we may have a good will, and working with us, when we have that good will. 
      W. Turner, M.D. – “‘Whatsoever is not of faith, that is sin;’ then that motion of free will before grace is sin.  Then what madness is it when a man cannot do well of himself but only evil?  What health is that, to have power to fall and not to rise or stand, without the help of another.  (2 Cor. 3). ‘Our sufficiency or ableness to do good is of God.’  Consider well the words of the Holy Ghost, (Rom. 10) where he calleth his own ‘the vessels of mercy.’  And (Rom. 8) ‘The children of God be led with the Spirit of God.’  (Isa. 26) ‘Lord thou hast wrought all our works in us.’ ... Thou indeed consentest, willest, and workest; but God maketh thee to consent, will, and work, so that this saying also may be always justly laid before thine eyes, ‘What hast thou that thou hast not received.’ – Old Learning and New.

16 October 2015 A.D. ENGLISH REFORMATION: Zurich Letters—English Bishops & Helvetian Reformers, Vol. 2


16 October 2015 A.D. ENGLISH REFORMATION: Zurich Letters—English Bishops & Helvetian Reformers, Vol. 2 (300 letters including John Jewel, Henry Bullinger, Robert Horne, Peter Martyr, Edmund Grindal, and others.)
The Zurich Letters: Comprising the Correspondence of Several English Bishops and Others, with Some of the Helvetian Reformers, vol. 2
Editor: Hastings Robinson
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication Date: 1842
Pages: 620
Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7
Upon Mary’s accession to the throne of England, hundreds of Protestant clergy fled to Europe, and a great number of those to Zurich. When they returned to England after the coronation of Elizabeth, these clergy maintained correspondence with their Swiss hosts. Collected here are nearly 300 letters between these English exiles and continental Reformers—including John Jewel, Henry Bullinger, Robert Horne, Peter Martyr, Edmund Grindal, and others. Volume 2 contains correspondence from 1558–1602.
Hastings Robinson was a nineteenth-century English historian and a member of the evangelical Anglican group, the Parker Society.

16 October 2015 A.D. ANGLICAN MAINSTREAM: News Bulletin, 16 Oct 2015

16 October 2015 A.D. ANGLICAN MAINSTREAM: News Bulletin, 16 Oct 2015

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sz4rBnV7tWo



News Bulletin, 16 October 2015

Oct 16, 2015 by Jill
From The Christian Institute:

Featured stories

Also in the news

16 October 2015 A.D. Nigeria’s Archbishop Okoh: “Purpose of marriage fixed for Anglicans by the BCP”… “we’re not animals on the side of a road…”


16 October 2015 A.D. Nigeria’s Archbishop Okoh: “Purpose of marriage fixed for Anglicans by the BCP”… “we’re not animals on the side of a road…” 

        Conger, George. “Purpose of marriage fixed for Anglicans by th BCP says Okoh.” Anglican Ink. 15 Oct 2015. http://www.anglicanink.com/article/purposes-marriage-fixed-anglicans-bcp-says-okoh. Accessed 15 Oct 2015.

Purposes of marriage fixed for Anglicans by the BCP says Okoh

15 Oct 2015

Author: 

George Conger
The purposes and principles of marriage as given in the Book of Common Prayer defines marriage, the Primate of All-Nigeria, the Most Rev. Nicholas Okoh, told his diocese’s 16th Annual Women’s Conference last week in Abuja. Attempts by some western churches and nations to redefine marriage to include covenanted relationships between persons of the same gender were theologically impossible and morally suspect, he said. “In our context, marriage is the relationship between a man and a woman, any other thing is an abomination. The purpose is for companionship and strength whereby the wife is strength to her husband and so also the husband. It should not only be in their youth but also as they grow older they begin to complement each other in a very strong way so that they kill the boredom of loneliness," he said on 10 Oct 2015. Attempts to separate marriage from procreation were unnatural, he observed. “The western world may want to adopt people's children but certainly the child is not their own and in fact their influence on such children is not going to be very healthy.” Christians were called to control their appetites, he said, stating the only proper expression of genital sexual congress was within male-female marriage. We are not animals that express their emotions and sexual feelings on the road, so marriage is honourable and dignified as described in the Bible,” the archbishop said.

Categories: 
·         News
Provinces: 
·         Church of Nigeria
- See more at: http://www.anglicanink.com/article/purposes-marriage-fixed-anglicans-bcp-says-okoh#sthash.wysnrbpp.dpuf

16 October 2015 A.D. REFORMED FORUM: Issues in Biblical Theology

16 October 2015 A.D. REFORMED FORUM: Issues in Biblical Theology

Bucey, Camden. “Issues in Biblical Theology.” Reformed Forum. 16 Oct 2015. http://reformedforum.org/ctc407/. Accessed 16 Oct 2015.

Issues in Biblical Theology

In this episode, we survey several biblical texts and explore the biblical theological features that unfold throughout God’s Word. We consider a biblical theology of the darkness upon Christ’s crucifixion, the use of vineyard imagery for covenant blessings and curses, the glory of the Lord upon the temple, among many other rich biblical themes.

16 October 2015 A.D. Daily Dose of Hebrew—Deuteronomy 6.7

16 October 2015 A.D. Daily Dose of Hebrew—Deuteronomy 6.7

http://dailydoseofhebrew.com/scripture-passage/deuteronomy/deuteronomy-67/

16 October 2015 A.D. Daily Dose of Greek—Mark 5.26

16 October 2015 A.D. Daily Dose of Greek—Mark 5.26

http://dailydoseofgreek.com/scripture-passage/mark/mark-526/

16 October 2015 A.D. Church Society: Lee Gatiss on How to Transform a Church

16 October 2015 A.D. Church Society: Lee Gatiss on How to Transform a Church

https://soundcloud.com/churchsociety/lee-gatiss-on-how-to-transform-a-church

16 October 2016 A.D. Dr. James Innes Packer—“Knowing God: Thy Word is True”

16 October 2016 A.D. Dr. James Innes Packer—“Knowing God: Thy Word is True”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ym9J4gyKDpo&index=22&list=PLvwgUlicDKGoqqzLI-Yv3cCKQLCbOajfr

16 October 2015 A.D. Selection of the day—St. John’s Choir, Cambridge: “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross”

16 October 2015 A.D. Selection of the day—St. John’s Choir, Cambridge: “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WfMo-vneTyM&list=PLaQE_4wV1dVFhqDCfByzp4pyOBLavOsOC&index=71

16 October 2014 A.D. Houstunnization: “Petty Tyrants in a Tyranical Age”


16 October 2014 A.D.  Houstunnization:  “Petty Tyrants in a Tyranical Age”
 
Reynolds, John Mark.  “Petty Tyrants in a Tyranical Age.”  Pantheos.  15 Oct 2014. http://www.patheos.com/blogs/eidos/2014/10/petty-tyrants-in-a-tyrannical-age/#ixzz3GJvYWpXJ.  15 Oct 2014.

Petty Tyrants in a Tyrannical Age: Annise Parker

Annise Parker is not the biggest problem my Church faces. So help us God, what a better world it would be if this were true.

 

We support a bishop in Syria who finds himself surrounded by ISIS, at the mercy of the kind favors of Putin, and fired at with American supplied weaponry. Twenty-two million of us died in the last century, were denied university education, and lived as second class citizens for the crime of being faithful. Redshirt thugs lash us in North Korea, in Sudan we are sold into slavery, and in Egypt we face extinction in an ancient homeland.
Pray that the “Houston Room” in a Syrian church used to feed starving people of all faiths and named for the gifts of Houston Christians can continue to feed the poor. American guns in terrorist hands surround this place and priests are murdered.
Next to these evils, the pettifogging Parker, a mayor with an overly eager legal team, is not much. She has decided our sermons, our emails, and our private communications are “fair game” because we dare oppose immorality with morality and moral confusion with moral clarity. We want to keep our bathrooms private, but evidently the right to use the toilet of one’s choice is Constitutional, or important, or something.
This precious right to pick a potty is worth using the power of the courts, the executive, and the law. And yet we know the real problem is that we will not say that private immorality is moral in public. In fact, we dare publicly disagree. We dare petition for redress. We suggest a vote on an issue railroaded through a compliant and corrupt city government. Most leaders are afraid to challenge the power of City Hall, hoping for government favors and contracts, but pastors answer to a higher power than the mayor.
Our morality is based in philosophy, theology, and history and not on our desires. We do not even give ourselves the right to force people of our sex to share their bathrooms with us. And yet, I can already hear certain pundits pronounce: potty rights are not worth the fuss. Christians are being martyred. Why kick up a fight?
One must pause and ponder the injustice that those who respond to change forced on us by politicians become accused of responding politically, but so it goes.
It is true, utterly, absolutely, terrifically true that Parker’s power play is not equivalent to the persecution my Church faces in Syria, Nigeria, Sudan, or Iraq. Fighting ISIS is far more important than fighting Parker, but a nation capable of defeating Imperial Japan and Nazi Germany simultaneously is surely capable of dealing with ISIS while swatting back the unjust demand of Parker. ISIS is Nazi ideology without the power of Germany and Parker hardly is worth the bother if her petty tyranny did not transgress an important principle.
Don’t be confused or distracted: Parker is trying to chill religious speech. Challenge her politically on the basis of Christian ethics and she will come after your Christian minister. She wants her morality publicly applauded and we call her morality a false morality: immoral. She accuses us of making morality political by making her immorality political. So while dealing with the real foes, ISIS and the radical atheists of North Korea, we must pause to swat back Parker.
We must fight not because we hate Parker, the Savior commands love, but because we love the Constitution. Nor as urban politicians go is Parker a particular problem.  Parker is typical of the libertine left: willing to cozy up to the fat cat network if bosses will allow personal vice to become political virtue. It is not the decadence and influence peddling that stirs us up: decadence and corruption are nothing new in Houston city politics, but an attack on the First Freedom is.

16 October 2014 A.D. Stand Firm’s David Fischler “Hammers” Houston’s “Bathroom Billers:” Points of Subpoena Included


16 October 2014 A.D.  Stand Firm’s David Fischler “Hammers” Houston’s “Bathroom Billers:”  Points of Subpoena Included
 
This is a cogently and forcefully argued article.  We bring a portion.
 
Fischler, David.  “Houston: Don’t Blame Us, We’re Asleep At the Switch.”  Stand Firm. 15 Oct 2014. http://www.standfirminfaith.com/?/sf/page/31580.  Accessed 15 Oct 2014.

Houston: Don’t Blame Us, We’re Asleep At the Switch


There has been an outpouring of outrage over the subpoenas issued by the city of Houston to several local pastors for sermons and private communications with their churches. Late today, the city decided to plead incompetence, ignorance, illiteracy, or a combination of all three, according to the Houston Chronicle:
Amid outrage from religious groups, Mayor Annise Parker and City Attorney David Feldman on Wednesday appeared to back off a subpoena request for the sermons of certain ministers opposed to the city’s equal rights ordinance, with Parker calling it overly broad.
The subpoenas, handed down to five pastors and religious leaders last month, came to light this week when attorneys for the group of pastors filed a motion to quash the request. Though Feldman stood behind the subpoena in an interview Tuesday, he and Parker said during the Mayor’s weekly press conference Wednesday that the wording was problematic.
Feldman is monitoring the case, he said, but had not seen the subpoena written by outside counsel working pro-bono for the city until this week. Parker said she also did not know about the request until this week.
Have to wonder: does the city of Houston, the fourth largest in the United States, normally farm out sensitive city legal business to outside lawyers, and then not bother to read what’s been submitted in its name by them?
“There’s no question the wording was overly broad,” she said. “But I also think there was some misinterpretation on the other side.”
YOU ARE COMMANDED to appear and produce and permit inspection and copying of the documents identified in the attached “Exhibit A” at the offices of SUSMAN GODFREY LLP, 1000 Louisiana Street, Suite 5100, Houston Texas 77002, on October 10,2014 by 5PM.
 
EXHIBIT A TO SUBPOENA ON PASTOR STEVE RIGGLE

3. “Document” and “documents,” mean all documents and tangible things, in the broadest sense allowed by Rule 192.3(b) and comment 2 of the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure, and include, but are not limited to, any writings, drawings, graphs, charts, photographs, phonograph records, tape recordings, notes, diaries, calendars, checkbooks, books, papers, accounts, electronic or videotape recordings, and any computer-generated, computer-stored, or electronically-stored matter that constitute or contain matters relevant to the subject matter of this lawsuit. The terms include, but are not limited to, emails, instant messages, text messages, or other responsive data or information that exists in electronic or magnetic form, and such responsive data should be produced pursuant to Rule 196.4 of the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure.

4. “Communications” means every direct or indirect disclosure, receipt, transfer, or exchange of information, inquiry or opinion, however made, whether oral, visual, in writing or otherwise, including without limitation any conversation or discussion by means of letter, note, package, invoice, statement, notice, memorandum, inter-office correspondence, telephone, telegraph, email, telex, telecopies, text message, instant message, cable communicating data processors, or some other electronic or other medium.

10. You are to produce all documents, as defined above, that are in Your possession, control or custody or in the possession, control or custody of any attorney for You. Without limiting the term “control,” a document is deemed to be within Your control if You have ownership, possession or custody of the document, or the right to secure the document or copy thereof from any person or public or private entity having physical possession thereof.

11. All duplicates or copies of documents are to be provided to the extent they have handwriting, additions, or deletions of any kind different from the original document being produced.

II. REQUESTED DOCUMENTS

1.               All documents or communications to, from, CCing, BCCing, or forwarded to you, or otherwise in your possession, relating or referring to any of the following in connection in any way with HERO, the Petition:

a. Plaintiffs,
b. Annise Parker or the Mayor’s office,
c. Anna Russell or the City Secretary’s office,
d. David Feldman or the City Attorney’s office,
e. HERO or any drafts of HERO,
f. the Petition, or any drafts of the Petition, including any discussions relating to the language included at the top of the Petition,
g. the legal requirements for petitions under Texas, Houston municipal, or any other law,
h. Petition signers,
i. Petition Circulators,
j. affidavits filled out by Petition Circulators, including the notarization of the affidavits,
k. the payment of Petition Circulators,
l. funding of the Petition or petition drives,
m. the topics of equal rights, civil rights, homosexuality, or gender identity,
n. language relating to restroom access,
o. language related to restroom access being or having been removed from a version of HERO, including any communications related to the removal of that language,
p. any discussion about whether or how HERO does or does not impact restroom access.
2. All communications to or from Plaintiffs.
3. All communications with the City regarding HERO or the Petition.
4. All communications with members of your congregation regarding HERO or the Petition.
5. All communications with Joe La Rue or anyone else at the “Alliance Defending Freedom” regarding HERO or the Petition.
6. All drafts of the Petition.
7. All lists of Petition Circulators.
8. All communications to or from Petition Circulators.
9. Any documents relating to the payment of Petition Circulators, including but not limited to:
10 a. budgets related to the payment of Petition Circulators,
b. check stubs or check registers reflecting payments to Petition Circulators,
c. copies of checks made out to Petition Circulators,
d. tax forms relating to the payment of Petition circulators,
e. documents explaining calculation of payment to Petition Circulators,
f. documents referencing incentives given to Petition Circulators for obtaining
certain numbers of signatures or completing a certain number of pages.
10. Any documents relating to funding and funding sources of the Petition and Petition-related activities.
11. All training materials prepared for Petition Circulators or anyone else involved in the collection of any signatures for the Petition.
12. All speeches, presentations, or sermons related to HERO, the Petition, Mayor Annise Parker, homosexuality, or gender identity prepared by, delivered by, revised by, or approved by you or in your possession.
 
There’s more is this piece. For the rest of this (cogent and articulate) hammer job on Houston, see:  http://www.standfirminfaith.com/?/sf/page/31580  . We also recommend bloggers link directly to Stand Firm.

16 October 2014 A.D. Houston Mayor Annise Parker Backing Off Subpoenas of Houstunned Pastors


16 October 2014 A.D.  Houston Mayor Annise Parker Backing Off Subpoenas of Houstunned Pastors
No author.  Houston Mayor Annise Parker has backed down from the subpoenas the City of Houston issued to several area pastors, Breitbart Texas has learned.”  Breitbart.com.  15 Oct 2014.  http://www.breitbart.com/Breitbart-Texas/2014/10/15/BREAKING-Houston-Mayor-Backs-Off-From-Subpoenas-to-Pastors/. Accessed 15 Oct 2014.
Breitbart Texas reported earlier about the controversy, stemming from litigation challenging the city's anti-discrimination ordinance and subpoenas asking the pastors for the content of their sermons, speeches and communications with church members. Texas Senator Ted Cruz weighed in, firmly supporting the pastors in their efforts to fight the subpoenas, while Mayor Parker initially remained adamant that the city had the right to request those records. Despite posting comments on Twitter just hours before that seemed to indicate she would continue to fight this issue, she told a Houston radio station that she had changed her mind. 
As reported by KTRH Mayor Parker admitted that the subpoenas were too broad, and that the pastors' sermons should not have been included. "It’s not about what did you preach on last Sunday," she said. "It should have been clarified, it will be clarified." City Attorney David Feldman had an odd admission of his own: that he had not reviewed the subpoenas before they were issued. "When I looked at it I felt it was overly broad, I would not have worded it that way myself," said Feldman.  "It's unfortunate that it has been construed as some effort to infringe upon religious liberty."
City officials told KTRH that they would narrow the scope of the subpoenas, but it is not clear how they will address the other concerns voiced by the pastors regarding their free speech and religious liberty issues with the rest of the items requested by the subpoena.
Follow Sarah Rumpf on Twitter @rumpfshaker.

16 October 2014 A.D. Houston’s “Bathroom Bill:” Witchhunt for Pastors Begins & Intimidation Campaign


16 October 2014 A.D.  Houston’s “Bathroom Bill:”  Witchhunt for Pastors Begins & Intimidation Campaign
Malcomb, Andrew.  “Witchhunt in Houston as City Demands Pastors Hand Over Sermons.”  Investors Business Daily.  15 Oct 2014.  http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials/101514-721989-houston-mayor-bullies-pastors-demands-their-sermons.htm.  Accessed 15 Oct 2014.
Tyranny: Reports say Houston's city hall is demanding that five local pastors turn over sermons in which they talked about homosexuality, gender identity or the city's first openly lesbian mayor. Call it the Texas Inquisition.
Houston has a new nondiscrimination ordinance on its books. Passed 11-6 last spring by the city council, the law is supposed to bar biased treatment based on "sex, race, color, ethnicity, national origin, age, familial status, marital status, military status, religion, disability, sexual orientation, genetic information, gender identity or pregnancy."
The ordinance has been named the "bathroom bill" because it allows men to use ladies' restrooms and women to use men's rooms. Some call it the "Sexual Predator Protection Act."
More than 50,000 — far more than twice the number needed — have since signed a petition asking for the law to be placed on a voter referendum in November, but the city tossed the petition in August due to "irregularities." Opponents then filed a lawsuit.
Shortly thereafter, payback began when the city attorneys began issuing subpoenas to pastors who are part of the lawsuit and members of a coalition of roughly 400 local churches that oppose the law. City hall wants to force them to hand over not only their sermons but "all communications with members of" their congregations regarding the law and the petition.
Fox News reports that Mayor Annise Parker "will not explain why she wants to inspect the sermons."
But it's clearly an attempt to shut up the pastors and step on their First Amendment rights to free speech and the free exercise of religion. City hall is bullying the pastors and their congregations because they hold a different point of view. As one supporter noted, the mayor wants to publicly shame them.
This might sound like something out of a movie about some dystopian society in the future. But it's happening right now, in America. And it should suck the breath out of every one of us who "clings" to the old-fashioned notion that our Constitution protects us.
This is still America, and the pastors are not complete social outcasts. They do have an ally. The Alliance Defending Freedom, a legal action group that defends freedom of religion, is representing them and has filed a motion to halt the subpoenas.
In its motion, the ADF called the city attorneys' action "harassing and vexatious" — and that is exactly right. As ADF attorney Christina Holcomb said, "political and social commentary is not a crime."

If the city is allowed to continue its campaign of fear and forces the pastors to turn over their sermons, we will have moved into a new and dangerous era in this country — one in which no one's rights are safe.
Other badly led cities will follow Parker's lead. Dissent and differences of opinion on any topic — whether it's sexual orientation, taxes or regulation — will be answered with totalitarian tactics.
It doesn't matter that the sermons, having been delivered from pulpits in open settings, are public statements and already have been heard by many. What matters is that a government can so unreservedly make such a demand — and with it, imply that it will in the future either approve or disapprove of what will be said.
There should be widespread outrage at the Houston city attorneys' actions. The Obama administration should send in the Justice Department. Lawmakers at all levels should hold news conferences condemning the witch hunt.
The media truly have something they should wring their collective hands over. If the Houston city attorneys aren't stopped, Christian pastors won't be the last group the tyrants come after.

16 October 1812 A.D. Rev. James W. Dale—Old Princetonian Presbyterian


16 October 1812 A.D.  Rev. James W. Dale—Old Princetonian Presbyterian
Archivist. “October 16:  James W. Dale.”  This Day in Presbyterian History.  16 Oct 2014.  http://www.thisday.pcahistory.org/2014/10/october-16-2/.  Accessed 16 Oct 2014.
October 16: James W. Dale
Those Quiet Ones Will Surprise You. 
Pastors and some others who read this blog may well have studied the work of the Rev. Dr. James W. Dale, on the subject of baptism. But who was this nineteenth-century author? Rev. James Roberts, author of a Memorial composed in memory of Dr. Dale, writes concerning his subject:
“…the story of such a life can never grow old, and can never cease to be instructive and helpful to others.
Yet Roberts also notes that “The written records from which to construct an adequate memorial [were] almost totally lacking. No diary was kept. No memoranda of personal experience remained. Only occasional dates of events, and a few letters to his family and friends, had been casually preserved.”
“Dr. Dale was a very reticent man and seldom spoke of himself or his personal affairs, except to his most intimate friends, and even to them with a lingering flavor of reserve. For instance, he carried on his remarkable researches on the subject of baptism, by day and by night, for twenty long years, without ever saying to a human being that he was making a book, until he had gone over the whole ground of the inquiry, and his first volume was ready for the press.”
James Wilkinson Dale was born October 16, 1812, at Cantwell’s Bridge (now Odessa) Delaware. He was the third son and the fourth child of Richard Colgate Dale, M.D. and Margaret (Fitzgerald) Dale. Following a term studying law, he turned to prepare for the ministry, initially at the Andover Theological Seminary. From his second year on, he continued his studies at Princeton, graduating there in 1835. He was appointed by the American Board to serve as a missionary in India, but could not gather the requisite financial support and had to withdraw. Undeterred, he next entered upon medical studies to further prepare for missions work, but upon graduation in 1838, entered into a term of service as an agent for the American Bible Society, 1838-1845. He later served as pastor of several churches near Philadelphia. It was during the time of these several pastorates that he wrote his famous works on the subject of baptism.

Classic Baptism was published in 1867; Judaic Baptism in 1869; Johannic Baptism in 1871; Christic and Patristic Baptism, a volume approximately twice the length of the former works, was then published in 1874.

As these volumes were issued, one after another, from the press, they were noticed at considerable length in the editorial columns of many of the religious papers of the country. The foremost professors, pastors, teachers and preachers were strong in their commendation of the author and of the work which he had so well accomplished. Each volume as it came out increased, rather than diminished, the admiration of scholars for the author, and added fresh laurels.
The publication of these scholarly volumes at once lifted their author out of the comparative obscurity in which he had lived. His company, his counsel, and his acquaintance, were sought by men eminent in the theological world, who had never seen or even heard of him before the appearance of his books. Other writers in the same field began to quote him as authority, and his works remain and authority on the subject to this day.
In recognition of his scholarship and of his ability as an author, Hampden Sidney College, in Virginia, conferred upon him the degree of Doctor of Divinity, as did also his alma mater, the University of Pennsylvania.
Dr. Dale received no profit from the sale of his books. Perhaps that is not unusual in itself, but he certainly did not publish with an intent to profit from them. In his retirement, he kept busy in part by working to condense and popularize his works on baptism. One friend expressed the wish that “out of this forest of philological learning [speaking of Dr. Dale's prior works on baptism], there might be, in due time, a little grove selected for the security and comfort of the unlettered believer.” It was the intention of Dr. Dale to make such “a little grove,” in other words, to write a book on baptism which all Christian people could read with interest, pleasure and profit. He found that the books which he had already written and published could not well be abridged or condensed, without lessening their value to preachers and to theological students, for whom they were especially written. He, therefore, determined to prepare such a popular presentation of the subject as would put the valuable results of his studies within the reach of the masses of God’s people. This was the task which he had set for himself, and on which he was engaged when the Master called him to lay aside his pen and to enter upon his everlasting reward.
Words to Live By:
Most people, Christians included, live out their lives in relative obscurity. Few people, Christians included, achieve notoriety in any field. But every Christian has something of great worth that the world knows not. Regardless of our calling in life, we know that we have a purpose. We know that we serve the King of kings. And we know that God has declared that He will be our God, and we will be His people.
“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10, KJV )

16 October 1795 A.D. Rev. William Buell Sprague


16 October 1795 A.D. Rev. William Buell Sprague
        Archivist. “October 16: Rev. William Buell Sprague.” This Day in Presbyterian History. 16 Oct 2015. http://www.thisday.pcahistory.org/2015/10/october-16-3/. Accessed 15 Oct 2015.

October 16: Rev. William Buell Sprague


Today’s post is drawn from Alfred Nevin’s Encyclopedia of the Presbyterian Church (1884), p. 850:
The Long Pastorate of a Great Pastor and Biographer
William Buell Sprague was born in Andover, Tolland county, Connecticut, on this day, October 16, 1795. He graduated at Yale College in 1815, and in 1816 entered Princeton Theological Seminary, just four years after the start of that institution. After studying there over two years, Sprague was licensed to preach by the Association of Ministers in the county of Tolland, on August 29th, 1818. As pastor of the Congregational Church of West Springfield, Massachusetts, he labored with great assiduity and success from August 25th, 1819, until July 21st, 1829, when he accepted a call to the Second Presbyterian Church in Albany, New York, over which he was installed on August 26th, 1829.
In Albany, he had a pastorate of forty years’ duration, remarkable for the extraordinary steadfastness and warmth of attachment existing through all that protracted period between himself and his large and intelligent congregation, and even more remarkable for the vast and varied labors performed by him. He has been well and truly described as “an illustrious man, a cultivated, elegant, voluminous, usefull and popular preacher; an indefatigable and successful pastor; an unselfish and devoted friend; loving, genial, pure, noble; an Israelite indeed, in whom there was no guile; one of the most child-like, unsophisticated and charitable of men.”
While Dr. Sprague never relaxed his pulpit and pastoral duties, his added literary labors were prodigious and their fruits exceedingly great. He preached nearly two hundred sermons on special public occasions, the most of which were published. He also produced a large number of biographies and other volumes on practical religious subjects. But the great literary work of his life was his Annals of the American Pulpit, undertaken when he was fifty-seven years old, and finished in ten large octavo volumes.
On December 20th, 1869, Dr. Sprague was released at his own request, from his pastoral charge in Albany, and retired to Flushing, Long Island, where he passed his later years, which were a serene and beautiful evening to his industrious, useful and eminent life. Here he enjoyed the sunshine of the divine favor, and looked upon the approach of death with a strong and placid faith. He gently and peacefully passed away, May 7th, 1876, and his remains were taken to Albany for interment, the funeral services being held in the church of which he had been so long the beloved and honored pastor.
A number of Sprague’s works can be found in digital format, here.
If I may select one for you, The Claims of Past and Future Generations on Civil Leaders, looks interesting, judging by its title.
From Sprague’s Historical Introduction to The Annals of the Presbyterian Pulpit:
“…The early history of the Presbyterian Church in this country is involved in no little obscurity,—owing principally to the fact that those who originally composed it, instead of forming a compact community, were widely scattered throughout the different Colonies. It is evident, however, that several churches were established some time before the close of the seventeenth century. In Maryland there were the Churches of Rehoboth, Snow Hill, Marlborough, Monokin, and Wicomin,—the first mentioned of which is commonly considered the oldest, and was probably formed several years before 1690. The Church on Elizabeth River, in Virginia, is supposed by some to date back to nearly the same period, but the exact time of its origin cannot be ascertained. The Churches in Freehold, and Woodbridge, New Jersey were constituted in 1692 [Note: there is good evidence that Fairfield Presbyterian Church, in Fairton, NJ, was established in 1680.]; and the First Church in Philadelphia, as nearly as can be ascertained, in 1698. In Newcastle, Delaware, in Charleston, South Carolina, and in some other places, Presbyterian Churches were planted at a very early period. In the latter part of 1705, or early in 1706, a Presbytery was formed under the title of the Presbytery of Philadelphia,—all whose members were from Scotland or Ireland, except the Rev. Jedediah Andrews, who was born and educated in New England.”